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International students : how to apply to study in France

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- Étudiants étrangers : début des inscriptions année universitaire 2014-2015 le 15/11/ 2013

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International students who wish to study in France should follow two sets of procedures:
- The procedure for applying to a higher education establishment
- The procedure for entering the country when your application has been approved

 1) Applying to a higher education establishment

There are a number of higher education admissions procedures for international students from outside the European Union :
-  Initial application for the 1st year of a BACHELOR’S degree course (with a foreign qualification)
- Registration for the 2nd or 3rd year of a BACHELOR’S degree course (L2 or L3) or the 1st year of a Master’s course (M1) (with a foreign qualification)
- Registration for the 2nd year of a MASTER’S course (M1) or a selective admission course (with a foreign qualification)
The procedure is different for students from countries which are members of the European Union or the European Economic Area :

Specific procedures :

- You must use the Admission post-bac website.
- You must produce the certificate which qualifies you for higher education in the country where it was obtained. It is advisable to have a sound knowledge of the French language.

 1a) Initial application for the 1st year of a BACHELOR’S degree course

Procedure for non-EU students who hold a foreign university entrance qualification

 If you are resident abroad between 1 December and 15 January

You should:
- Fill in the “dossier Blanc” (white file) section of the Demande d’Admission Préalable (DAP - Preliminary Admission Application).
-  If you are resident in the following countries, apply between the same dates using the ministère des affaires étrangères (Ministry of Foreign Affairs) online applications procedure on the Campus France website : Algeria, Argentina, Benin, Brazil, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Chile China, Colombia, Gabon, Guinea, India, Ivory Coast, Japan, Lebanon, Madagascar, Mali, Mauritius, Mexico, Morocco, Peru, Republic of Congo, Russia, Senegal, South Korea, Syria, Taiwan, Tunisia, Turkey, United States, Vietnam.

 If you will be resident in France between 1 December and 15 January

You should :
Fill in the “dossier Vert” (green file) section of the Demande d’Admission Préalable (DAP - Preliminary Admission Application).

 List of documents which should be submitted along with your dossier blanc or dossier vert

-  Preliminary Application for admission to an undergraduate course in a French university
- Record sheet to be retained by the first university
- Response from the first university
- Record sheet to be retained by the second university
- Response from the second university
- Record sheet to be retained by the third university
- Response from the third university
- Language proficiency tests
- Acknowledgement of receipt

-  Additionally, for the dossier vert : application form for the French language test

Dossier Blanc
This file (along with the supporting documents) must be submitted or sent, duly completed, to the cultural services department of the French Embassy in your place of residence no later than 22 January in the academic year before you wish to begin your studies.

Dossier vert
This file (along with the supporting documents) must be submitted or sent, duly completed, to the candidate’s first choice university no later than 22 January in the academic year before his/her studies are to begin.

Subject to exceptions (please refer to the “dossier blanc” and “dossier vert” instructions on the Ministère de l’Enseignement Supérieur et de la Recherche - Ministry of Higher Education and Research website), candidates must sit a language test. The cost of this test is €65, although it may higher if additional costs are incurred.

 International students who are not required to submit a DAP (dossier blanc or dossier vert)

 Candidates resident abroad who hold, or expect to hold, the French or European Baccalauréat qualification and who are applying for admission to an undergraduate course at a French university.
Specific procedures :
* You must use the Admission post-bac website.
 Candidates from countries which are members of the European Union or the European Economic Area.
Specific procedures :
* You must use the Admission post-bac website.
* You must produce the certificate which qualifies you for higher education in the country where it was obtained. It is advisable to have a sound knowledge of the French language.
-  Candidates who are not French nationals, who do not hold, or expect to hold, the French baccalauréat, are resident abroad and wish to register with a French school of architecture .
Specific procedures : *Complete the special form which is available from the www.archi.fr website. * Candidates will sit the language test at the same time as candidates applying through the admissions process.

 1b) Registration in the 2nd or 3rd year of a BACHELOR’S degree course (L2 or L3) or the 1st year of a Master’s course (M1)

Procedure for non-EU students who hold a foreign university entrance qualification

Please note : Nationals of countries where French is not the official language must produce a certificate of language competence (in most cases, level B2 is required)

Follow one of the following two procedures : 
 If you live in one of the following countries : Algeria, Argentina, Benin, Brazil, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Chile China, Colombia, Gabon, Guinea, India, Ivory Coast, Japan, Lebanon, Madagascar, Mali, Mauritius, Mexico, Morocco, Peru, Republic of Congo, Russia, Senegal, South Korea, Syria, Taiwan, Tunisia, Turkey, United States, Vietnam.
You must contact the Centres d’Études pour la France (CEF - Study in France Centres) through the specific CEF website in the country of residence (example: www.algerie.campusfrance.org) and follow the instructions provided.
For more information visit the www.campusfrance.org website.
The deadline for applying to a CEF is 31 March.

 If you are resident in France or a country which is not a member of Campus France : between February and May, obtain an academic record file from the Service de Scolarité (Student Affairs department) of the university of your choice and complete it, stating your nationality, the educational level and qualifications you have achieved in your country, and the subject area, course and specialism you have chosen to study in the French university.

 1c) Registration for the 2nd year of a MASTER’S course (M2) or a selective admission course (School, IUFM (Teacher training), IUP (University Institute for vocational training) degree, etc.)

Procedure for non-EU students who hold a foreign university entrance qualification

Get in direct contact with the secretariat of the establishment (University, School, etc.) which awards the qualification.

If you live in one of the following countries : Algeria, Argentina, Benin, Brazil, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Chile China, Colombia, Gabon, Guinea, India, Ivory Coast, Japan, Lebanon, Madagascar, Mali, Mauritius, Mexico, Morocco, Peru, Republic of Congo, Russia, Senegal, South Korea, Syria, Taiwan, Tunisia, Turkey, United States, Vietnam. you must contact the Centres d’Études pour la France (CEF) (Study in France Centres) through the specific CEF website in your country of residence (example:www.vietnam.campusfrance.org) and follow the instructions provided.
For more information visit the www.campusfrance.org website.

 2) Entering the country when your application has been approved


 2a) You are a candidate from an EU member state

You do not require a visa
European Union nationals do not require a visa or residence permit. Should you want to obtain a residence permit (which is not compulsory), you should fill in the appropriate form.
The procedure is as follows:
1- Obtain a form
If you intend to arrive between mid-September and mid-November: contact the CROUS (Regional student social services centre). If you will be arriving at any other time: contact the sous-préfecture (district administrator’s office)
2 - Send it along with these documents :
- A photocopy of your passport
- A copy of the original of your birth certificate, which has been issued within the last 3 months
- Proof of your admission to a higher education establishment
- Proof of health insurance cover
- Proof of personal assets or certificate proving ability to rely on a parent, along with photocopies of last 3 pay slips. There is no mandatory cap.
- Proof of residence in France (accommodation documentation and utility bill, for example)
- Transcript of grades from the previous academic year
- 4 passport sized photos

 2b) You are a candidate from a country which is not a member of the EU


You must obtain a student visa.
The most common ones are the long stay student visa and the “étudiant concours” visa
There are also other types of visa which will enable students to study in France.
You should visit the closest French Embassy or Consulate in your country to obtain your visa.
For certain international students only :
Foreign students from about thirty countries who wish to obtain a visa for study in France must apply online through the Campus France website (please refer to section 1a)).

The “long stay student” visa

A “long stay student” visa authorises the holder to study in France. It is valid as a 1-year residence permit for the first year of study
You should complete the following procedures before you arrive in France :
1 - Visit the French Consulate or Embassy in your home country to apply for the visa or, for certain students, submit your application through Campus France.
A fee is payable for this service. The cost of visas is set by the Ministère des affaires étrangères (Ministry of Foreign Affairs).

2 - When the visa is granted, the consulate issues a stamped OFII certification application form, along with explanatory notes.
(OFII: - Office français de l’immigration et de l’intégration)
3 - On arrival in France, send the following documents to the OFII by registered letter with recorded delivery.
- the OFII certification application form delivered and stamped by the authority which issued the visa
- copies of the passport pages containing the holder’s identity details and the stamp certifying his/her arrival in France or in the Schengen Area.
4 - On receipt of the documents, confirmation of receipt of the form is sent to the applicant by post.
5 - An invitation for a health check (if this has not already been carried out in the home country) or for a welcome visit.
6 - A foreign resident number, “the OFII vignette” (sticker), is issued to the applicant by the OFII
The “étudiant concours” visa
Valid for 2 months, this visa is granted following success in a competitive examination organised by a French higher education establishment in a foreign country. It exempts the student from the need to apply for a long stay visa
Procedure : within two months of his/her arrival in France, the student should apply directly to the préfecture or sous-préfecture for a residence permit, producing his/her pass certificate (please refer to section Iic).

 2c) Obtaining a residence permit

The temporary one-year residence permit
This is the procedure to follow when the “Student” visa issued by the Ministère des Affaires Etrangères expires.
Several conditions (academic progress, means, etc.) must be fulfilled for the permit to be issued.
1- Obtain a form
- Between mid-September and mid-November from the CROUS
- At other times: from the sous-préfecture
2 - Send it along with these documents :
- A photocopy of your passport
- A photocopy of the visa and the OFII sticker affixed to the passport
- A copy of the original of your birth certificate issued within the last 3 months
- Proof of your admission to a higher education establishment
- Proof of health insurance cover
- Proof of personal assets or certificate proving ability to rely on a parent, along with photocopies of last 3 pay slips. Please be aware! If you are not in receipt of a grant, you will have to provide evidence of a monthly or annual income. You should check the amount with the Ministère des Affaires Etrangères.
- Proof of residence in France (accommodation documentation and utility bill, for example)
- Transcript of grades from the previous academic year
- 4 passport sized photos
3 - An acknowledgement of receipt, authorising residence on a temporary basis until the residence permit is issued, is delivered or posted to the applicant.
A fee of 77 euros (on the expiry of a visa where the residence permit must be applied for within two months) or 49 euros (on the expiry of a long stay visa which is valid as a residence permit) is payable.
Please note : Don’t forget to give details of any personal or family problems faced during the 1st year (a death, illness). They will be considered when the file is examined.

The multi-annual residence permit

The multi-annual residence permit applies to students studying for a Master’s degree or a Doctorate. They should already hold a residence permit and have been accepted on a course leading to a qualification of at least Master’s degree level in a nationally accredited higher education establishment.
The residence permit may be valid for a period of between 2 and 4 years. A fee of €77 is payable.

 
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